Shropshire Star

Peter Rhodes on a frozen star, a free advert and proof that you can die of a broken heart

The actor James (Happy Valley) Norton has spent the winter cold-water swimming and says it's great for mind and body.

James Norton – chilly heart-throb

Norton starts his day with a warm shower which he switches to cold before rushing outdoors for a dip. I am reminded of the late David Frost's tale of the masochist who enjoyed a cold shower in the morning. So he had a hot one.

Nice free advert for Guinness as William and Kate quaffed the ol' Liffey Water at an event with the Irish Guards. The prince has admitted that he rarely finishes a glass of Guinness, although it's not clear whether this is because it's not to his taste or because his aides whip away the glass to guard against squiffiness. Relief may be at hand, as you may have gathered from the flurry of TV ads for zero-alcohol Guinness 0.0. Sobriety is guaranteed.

Whether HRH will down a full zero-alcohol pint remains to be seen. After a couple of cans (in the interests of research), I think it's best described as an acquired taste. Mmmm.

“Broken heart breaks the heart,” declares a researcher at a Swedish institute which had just found a link between the grief of bereaved parents and dangerously erratic heartbeat. So what's new?

Dying of a broken heart is rooted deep not only in our culture but in our personal experiences. Have we not all known of a devoted spouse, sibling or parent whose health collapsed in the agony of bereavement? Yet it's a brave coroner who logs the cause of death as “grief,” even when everyone knows that's the truth.

In ye olden days, probably because half the population lived in slums, “rats as big as cats” was a familiar newspaper headline. To be honest, we hacks may have exaggerated a little. I admit the only rats I ever saw on an infestation assignment were rat-sized rats.

Anyway, I hadn't seen the rats/cats headline for some time until it popped up a few days ago, describing a plague of massive rodents in cliffs at the Welsh resort of Tenby. This time, unless the camera lies, the rats really are the size of cats. Wanted: Jack Russells the size of lions.